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 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:11 am 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
Posts: 745
Location: Williamstown, NJ
accessmenj wrote:
THEMES AND SUBPLOTS MISSED AT FIRST VIEWING

Achieving a Dream
Miner's Future Destroyed by own Government
Rejection by others of Grandma, Billy, Michael
Grief Expressed as Denial, Anger, Depression, Acceptance
Hunger, both Physical and Emotional
Parent's Wishes vs. Child's,- Debby's mom and Billy 's dad
Life Imitates Art, Actor's Roles and Children's Life Stories
Greek Tragedy, Doomed Fate
Altruism, Helping Someone Else Achieve their Dream
Denial of Reality
Self Perception and Fantasy vs. Reality
Hopelessness brings Violence and Hate
Violence and Conflict's Effect on Children
Conservative Society vs. Socialism
Personal Failure and Living Vicariously
Dealing with Anger
Compromise of Goals and Future
Art is an Expression for All, Especially the Downtrodden
Life's Gritty Reality
People's Enemy is the Government
Acceptance, Everyone is Special
Traditional Father's Role Needs to Change
It Takes a Village...to raise a child
Jealousy becomes Support
Billy and his Dad's relationship before the argument about dance lessons
It gets better- Billy's vision of a brighter future
Dramatic Irony (not a theme, but often missed)
Ordinary is Extraordinary(function of the chairs)
Talented People make others successful(Mrs.W. is talented herself)
Every little fishy must swim for himself(Billy takes charge of his life)
Optimism of Youth vs. Pessimism of Adults
Willingness to change opinions and value judgments
Act now and take a chance
Take a different road from the common
Theme of Courage
We are each other's caregivers and saviours
The relationship between mother and child
Budding sexuality of pre-teens
Everyone is intolerant of something
Various classes of society
Billy's poor home life follows everywhere except when he is dancing
Presence of Greek Mythology in BETM
Emancipation of Individual (successful) contrasts with Social Emancipation (failure)



With all the Regional Theatre, International Productions, and the British Isles Tour, I thought it might be time to republish this for the consideration of those who enjoy the genius of Lee Hall and the multi-layers of Billy Elliot the Musical. Some people might use this list as an excuse to attend the show again just to see what they missed at the first viewing. Some may even add new insights after their viewing.


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 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:29 am 
Small Boy

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:05 pm
Posts: 46
Everyone should definitely attend Billy Elliot The Musical multiple times. I saw BETM three times at the Venice Theatre, and each time was a revelation of what was previously missed.

An example of my learning experience involves when Mrs. Wilkinson grabs Billy by the shoulders, looks him directly in the eyes and says "You are very f**king special". Initially, I thought it was cool of her to try to encourage and inspire Billy.

After watching the second and third show and noticing how she constantly berates her daughter, Debbie, and tells her to shut up, my opinion of Mrs. Wilkinson is not so kind. By the third show, when she says "You are very f**king special", I thought "Why didn't you grab your daughter by the shoulders, look in her eyes, and tell her that?

In other words, multiple viewing of this complex, layered show reveals new life-truths, themes and plots. Each time that you attend enriches the experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:03 pm 
Ballet Girl
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:51 am
Posts: 314
Location: Huntingdon Cambs
Couldn't agree more with madashell. It occured to me how male oriented and chauvanist the mining society in Billy is. As you say Debbie gets a raw deal. There are no successful women expected in their community (except Maggie who we hate). There is frankly no hope for even the best ballet girls to go to London. Billy doesn't even say good-bye to Debbie properly, and she gets pushed off in the London finale. Mrs W gets little respect from the men and Billy only tells her he "got in" at the last minute. Grandma had an abusive husband.etc. Yet at the same time the ladies and girls are seen contributing massively to the struggle. "The emanciptation of Labour" - may be: but no emancipation for women.

It is a real problem, for me, that the characters we support (male and female) seem to want this part of their way of life to continue.

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~ Paul ~


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